This is a photo of several books I have about Vincent Van Gogh. One of the comments that students would often make is, "oh, ya...isn't he the guy that cut off his ear?" There has been an extensive study by two historians. They spent ten years, looking at police records, witness accounts and looking through Vincents letters, to and from his brother, Theo. They draw a different conclusion.
At the time of the accident, Gauguin, another artist who was staying with Vincent at the time, and left quickly after the accident, was a fencing pro. Their relationship was very volatile. Could he have cut Vincent in a rage? When the air had cleared, did they both agree to hush up the situation?
This is a sculpture I did of Vincent, based on a drawing of him that was done by Toulouse-Lautrec. The sculpture is constructed from newspaper, and cardboard. With a papier mache of several layers, and painted to resemble bronze.
People familiar with the "ear" story, often ask if I put both ears on this sculpture. I am happy to report that I did, indeed, put both ears on his head!